Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Why Tenure Is Necessary

Of course, the papers are full of horror stories about teachers. We have jobs for life. We sit and read the newspaper while our students murder one another. We can't see it because we choose the New York Times, that great big paper that completely blocks our range of view. Furthermore, we're elitist and out of touch for choosing that over the Daily News. Never mind that the editorial board of the Times hates us just as much as that of the News.

In reality, Mayor Bloomberg and his fellow "reformers" wish to fire us for any reason or no reason. Case in point, this young woman, in a story from the New York Post. She's been fired because of photos taken before she started working for the DOE, photos that she claims have been photoshopped for the internet. Apparently, because there are scantily clad photos of her available, now much more widely so because of the story, she cannot advise students on what courses to take, what colleges to attend, or how to be more successful in school.

It looks like the DOE is mired in the illusion that we're all Beaver Cleaver, living in Pleasantville, sleeping in twin beds like Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. Any teacher who admits to having a body with more sexual characteristics than a Ken doll is unfit to teach. Of course this is absurd on its face.

But we see that the DOE is willing to take this sort of thought to the point at which they discharge someone. Judging from the story, this young woman started out as a teacher and later became a counselor, which would explain why she hasn't got tenure. It would also explain why she can be discharged without due process. In fact, a probationary teacher can be dismissed for a bad haircut. Or even a good one.

I'm certain that many of us would have been arbitrarily and capriciously dismissed if it were up to Mayor4Life Bloomberg. Having tenure is the wall that keeps him from simply dumping every experienced teacher and replacing us with cheap inexperienced newbies. Despite the nonsense spewed by astroturfers like Tim Daly and his Rhee-originate TNTP, there is simply no substitute for experience. Daly and Rhee don't go to doctors who haven't practiced, or hire $30 an hour lawyers.

That they'd want our children educated solely by neophytes belies their nonsensical claims of putting children first. Their goal is to funnel as much money as possible away from our children into the hands of those who least need it. And they attack tenure because paying those of us who devote our lives to teaching children, to them, is a waste of money.

But we must be ever-vigilant. After Bloombucks loses this lawsuit, he will certainly redouble his efforts to weaken and destroy us. We've given him far too much, and can afford to give him not one inch more.
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